Branch Chairman’s Report 2023/2024

I would like to start by expressing my appreciation to our members for your support over the past year. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the members of our committee for their ongoing support for the RAeS Hong Kong branch. Our Committee members have generously volunteered their time to provide support and guidance to the society and our members.

I would like to say special thank yous to Wendy Wong and Winggo Ng who are stepping down from the committee this year. Their contribution, dedication and service to the Society is highly appreciated.

Events summary

Since the last AGM in August 2023 we have continued to provide members with a broad programme of lectures, site visits and other Society activities.

In October 23, Peter Leung and Martin Rowe shared with members their experience of competing in the German Open Helicopter Challenge.

This was closely followed in November by another very successful JK Swire Annual Dinner where Phil O’Dell delighted guests with his Spirit of Innovation lecture, his wonderful story of breaking the world record for the fastest electric aircraft.

Our Young Members enjoyed two back to back events in November and December – first a session with the HK University of Science and Technology Aero team and then the return of the ever popular Aviation Christmas Quiz.

Our lecture programme for 2024 opened in February with Max Lam from OTG presenting a fascinating presentation of the Evolution and Future of UAV technology.

And as we said many times a key priority for the society as part of our events programme is to provide access to our membership of some of the great aerospace facilities in Hong Kong. In March members were able to tour the HAESL Engine and Component Maintenance and Repair facility and experience first-hand this world leading operation and then in May our colleagues at HAECO hosted members for a visit to their hangars and the opportunity to see an Airbus A350 undergoing a base maintenance input.

And today in conjunction with our AGM, thanks to our kind hosts, the Government Flying Service, we have another wonderful opportunity to experience first-hand another very impressive facility within Hong Kong’s aviation and aerospace infrastructure.

There will more events coming over the next months so please keep an eye out on our Facebook page and other channels for details.

Key amongst these is our annual dinner on 8th November dinner where I’m delighted to advise that our speaker this year will be ex BA Concorde Fleet Chief Pilot, Mike Bannister. Mike will be providing a lecture on the history of Concorde. This should be an exceptional event and I hope you will all be able to join us.

I will conclude, as I traditionally do, with a short recap for members of our purpose here in Hong Kong. The Society, its lecture programme and its facility visits provides a great opportunity to promote and advance aviation in Hong Kong and around the world - raising awareness and helping people understand how our industry works and the many interesting and exciting opportunities it offers for people in Hong Kong. The Society facilitates the sharing of knowledge and experience amongst our membership, it encourages the highest professional standards and provides a forum for people in our industry to talk about the work they do, the things they are passionate about and explain why it means so much to them. We help build understanding and bring this amazing industry to life.

I would also like to provide a brief update on our membership status.

Membership Report

Since the last AGM our membership has reduced slightly to 204 members – comprising 186 full members and 18 student members. The reduction in overall membership has largely been the result of a decrease in student members.

In 2024 to date we have welcomed 11 new members to the branch from across Hong Kong’s aviation industry.

In recent months much work has been to simplify and modernize our membership sign up process and this together with the promotion of a number of member only events and close collaboration with our university based committee members and Young Member Chair we believe will help us achieve an increase in our student members of the course of the next 12 months.

We want to increase our membership numbers significantly and ensure the RAeS HK branch remains a vibrant, diverse and thriving community. We recognize that our ability to attract and retain members will be heavily predicated on the value they place being a member and in turn on us delivering an interesting and educational range of lectures, events and activities for them. We are determined to do so and please keep an eye out for the new events being advertised.

In closing I would like to thank you all again for your support this year. At this AGM I too will be stepping down from the role as Chair. It has been a honour to have served the Society over the past 7 years and during that time I have been very grateful for the terrific support from Darryl Chan and my colleagues on the Committee. I wish the members of the RAeS HK Branch and everyone associated with the aviation and aerospace industry here in Hong Kong all the very best for the future. 

Young Member’s Chairperson Report 2023/2024

Good afternoon everyone. It has been an honor to serve as the young-member chairperson and work with all of you to plan and execute our events and activities over the past year.

Let me provide a summary of the key events that have occurred since the last annual general meeting (AGM):

Meeting with HKUST Aero Team - November 14, 2023

On November 14, 2023, the Young Members Session hosted a meeting with the HKUST Aero Team. During the session, we shared industry insights and career prospects to help the students better understand the current landscape. The team also took the opportunity to share the challenges they face in securing jobs in the aviation industry. It was inspiring to witness the passion and enthusiasm of this student team, and we wished them success in the upcoming Design Build and Fly competition.

Annual Aviation Christmas Quiz - December 15, 2023

After a 4-year hiatus, the Annual Aviation Christmas Quiz returned on December 15, 2023. Seven teams from industry and educational institutions participated in this friendly competition. The quiz provided an excellent opportunity for networking within the aviation community. It was great to see such strong participation from key industry stakeholders, including organizations like GFS, HAESL, HAECO, CX, IVE, and HKCAD, coming together for this annual tradition.

One of the biggest challenges we've faced is attracting new student members. From my conversations with young members and participants, their concerns about job prospects and stability have made them less inclined to join the industry. The competition from aerospace programs may also be drawing some students away from the RAeS. Additionally, the evolving job market in the industry may be making involvement in the RAeS and experience in aviation activities less directly relevant for securing aviation jobs. As a result, some students feel the RAeS does not adequately address these changing industry needs.

Due to personal reasons, I will be stepping down from the young-member chairperson role this year. However, I will continue to support the next young-member chairperson in brainstorming ideas to attract new student members.

I also apologize that I could not support the previously planned Design Build & Fly event. I will ensure a smooth handover to the next chairperson to allow for the execution of the year-end aviation quiz and the DBF event next year.

In closing, I want to express my gratitude for the opportunity to serve as your young-member chairperson. I look forward to continuing my involvement with this organization in other capacities.